Hartpury's pioneering Digital Innovation Farm 'Tech Box Park’ officially opens

A ribbon-cutting ceremony has been performed at Hartpury to formally mark the opening of its new £2 million Tech Box Park.

The new facility opened on Thursday 7 July, demonstrates Hartpury’s ongoing commitment to shaping the future of digital farming and the next phase of its ten-year strategic vision to provide world-class agricultural facilities, education, and research.

Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University commented: “We are building an exciting future for our students and industry partners. The launch of the Tech Box Park forms the much-anticipated second phase of our pioneering Digital Innovation Farm to meet the global demand for new technology in farming. Data and technology will be essential if British farming is to tackle the challenge of using technology to increase productivity in a sustainable way.”

The Tech Box Park was officially opened by Cllr Philip Robinson, County Councillor representing Mitcheldean Division & Cabinet Member for Education, Skills, and Bus Transport, and the University’s Vice-Chancellor Russell Marchant in front of over 80 invited guests which included GFirst LEP, project partners, supporters, friends, and existing Tech Box Park members and residents. 

While enjoying refreshments, guests toured the exciting new facility that will provide free support to SMEs in Gloucestershire looking to test and trial new or existing Agri-Tech products and help them accelerate to market.

Funding for the Tech Box Park has been provided by the Getting Building Fund through GFirst LEP, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust.

David Owen, CEO of GFirst LEP commented: “GFirst LEP is delighted to support this state-of-the-art and exciting project at Hartpury University and Hartpury College. The project has received funding of £1.25m from the ‘Getting Building Fund’ to create new innovation and demonstration workspace for high growth SMEs in Gloucestershire. Hartpury have proved to be a fantastic partner to work with and this project will lead the work of increasing productivity in this important sector for the county.”

Catherine Briggs, Tech Box Park Centre Manager commented: “This is a fantastic place for SMEs to grow their business and a great space for innovative thinking. With the largest and fastest-growing network of Agri-Tech SMEs to work with in the county, it really is an exciting time to be working in Gloucestershire.” 

Find out more: hartpury.ac.uk

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